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Old 09-11-2006, 15:40   #1
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Fouled Bottom

I am curious about how other sailors in the NE area do with their bottom paint.

I use an ablative paint and sail almost every weekend (rarely during the week) from June through the end of October. My experience is that with this type of use the bottom goes foul by mid to late summer and by Fall I have lost at least a knot of speed due to a fouled bottom. I don't dive to do any intermittant scrubbing of the bottom.

Is my experience typical? What are others doing? Scrubbing regularly? Different type of bottom paint? If you hire a diver... what do you pay for this?

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Old 09-11-2006, 16:14   #2
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While we're at it... I'm heading to the PacNW and wondering what/which type/brands of paint are best up there. It's less salty I know but am considering switching to a hard racing paint and biting the bullet for a diver periodically. My paint was put on in April in Maine and lasted pretty well until August/Sept when I had it lightly cleaned. Now in S. Cheasapeake and it's time again. Just scheduled a diver 10 minutes ago in fact, so I'm very interested in other's results too. In SoCal, I had a diver every 2-3 weeks but the boat was a lot smaller. I use(d) the boat(s) regularly, 3-5 times weekly both in SoCal and in Maine.
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Old 09-11-2006, 17:08   #3
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Hi Jef,

Same performance for me, no matter if I was using the cheapest non-ablative 10 years ago, or the good ablative Petit I use now. I lose close to a knot, even though I have just a layer of slime, rather than any real growth. I have, however, noticed that growth has been far stronger this year than in all of my years sailing. My depth sounder was fouled at least monthly this summer (I dove to scrub it). The knot log did better, but everything (including out-flowing through hulls) is clogging up on me this year.

Can't speak to divers, since I've never hired one. I normally wait until spring. There is an old trick that might work, depending on your location. Take a good amount of time and go up the Hudson or somewhere into fresh water if you've been in salt a while. It will help kill/reduce growth. I plan to be less and less dependent on marinas and this year will likely careen or tie up to something that allows the boat to sit on its keel as the tide goes out to give the bottom a once over and clean zincs.
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Old 09-11-2006, 19:19   #4
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Pacific NorthWest bottom paint that works

My bottom paint is over 5 years old now and I am planning on adding another coat early next year. It is INterlux Micron with Biolux, a "self-polishing" bottom paint that has faaaar exceeded my expectations.

I cruise the Puget Sound, Gulf Islands and further north into Canadian waters. The water temp varies from 50 deg. F in the winter to over 70 deg F in the summer, depending upon where one is. I have a temp sensor in one of my underwater transducers so I am always reading the temp to see if I can go over the side without a wetsuit.

This paint is quite expensive yet has proven to be inexpensive when considering the number of haul-outs that I have been able to avoid having to pay for. Now If I could just find something that would last that long on my prop!
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Old 09-11-2006, 19:21   #5
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Another Idea - get a big tarp, put it under the boat, fill with fresh water and put in bleach. Let stand for a few days.
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Old 09-11-2006, 19:44   #6
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Here I have been using the house brand from West Marine (BottomKote?). I bought a gallon and got a gallon free. Takes half a gallon to do the bottom.

Last year when I hauled I had one barnicle attatched, and that was in a spot were a crab line rubbed the paint off (some idiot left it across a channel then got upset when I drug his 3000 feet of line along the bottom at 6 knots).

Some slime, but nothing more than I would get if I stuck my hand in the water for a few minutes.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:36   #7
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Another Idea - get a big tarp, put it under the boat, fill with fresh water and put in bleach. Let stand for a few days.
Not only is this poor form and bad for the environment but illegal as well.
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Old 10-11-2006, 05:28   #8
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fstbttms - so what are your rates?? So we can all understand what it costs to hire a diver.
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Old 10-11-2006, 05:58   #9
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Maby in poor form but there is a maker of a big bladder that you can put on your dock, dock over it and raise it up. Is said to work well. No fresh water over a long period of time will kill almost anything. So much for the bleach but there should be something else that should work almost as well.
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Old 10-11-2006, 06:26   #10
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Submersible scrubbing robots! No bottom paint required.. Just drop the bots over the side and let them clean the bottom... and then reel them back in for a recharge till the next time!

Jef
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:16   #11
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Hard racing antifoul and a scub every 2 weeks.

Pain in the butt, but won the rum plenty of times.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:33   #12
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fstbttms - so what are your rates?? So we can all understand what it costs to hire a diver.
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the going rate for hull cleaning is $2.00/foot (LOA). Zinc replacement is $10.00/zinc, plus the cost of the zinc(s). Southern California divers tend to charge less for hull cleaning, Puget Sound divers, a little more. The rates I have seen for East Coast hull cleaners have always been somewhat higher than mine.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:36   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynx
Maby in poor form but there is a maker of a big bladder that you can put on your dock, dock over it and raise it up. Is said to work well. No fresh water over a long period of time will kill almost anything. So much for the bleach but there should be something else that should work almost as well.
It's not the tarp/bladder that is illegal. Ask your state water board how they feel about you pouring bleach or any other poison into the water.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:55   #14
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Sneaky bottom scrubbing

Scuttlebut has it that it is illegal to scrub a boat bottom that has bottom paint containing anything that might disperse into the water that might be a poison. Does anyone know the validity of this...federal law, regional, local?

Here in the PNW the Puget Sound Alliance would definitely be against scrubbing. After all, it IS illegal to allow the stuff water blasted off of the bottom when hauled out "in the sling" to reach the seawater (same reasoning as for scrubbing in the water).

So, what does this portend? Do we have to sneak into the water at midnight and clean the bottom if the boat has spent too much time at the dock if we feel that the potential amount of contamination is negligible yet do not want to incur the wrath of a zealot observer? It is not uncommon to read in the local paper how many thousands of gallons of raw sewage has been allowed to spill into the local waters without anyone or group having to even pay a fine yet if I discharge one "person unit" of urine into the local waters I am liable for breaking the law.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:05   #15
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Scuttlebut has it that it is illegal to scrub a boat bottom that has bottom paint containing anything that might disperse into the water that might be a poison. Does anyone know the validity of this...federal law, regional, local?
There are no laws or regulations banning in-water hull cleaning in the U.S. Washington state does have restrictions in place regarding cleaning ablative paints. In California, the RWQCB has deemed that in-water hull cleaning activities are a point-source of pollution and therefore fall under EPA-mandated guidelines, but this currently pertains to the Shelter Island Yacht Basin in San Diego Bay only. No enforcement of these guidelines has yet taken place. But the data show that hull cleaning provides only a fraction of the copper loading in the water column and that most of it comes from the passive leaching from the anti fouling on boats just sitting in marinas. The obvious soultion is to come up with non-toxic anti foulings, and it seems likely that this will ultimately be the answer to the in-water hull cleaning question.
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